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Transportation in Bucharest

Please note that in Romania it is illegal for unauthorized or unsolicited drivers to approach travelers offering transportation services. Only authorized transportation companies, means and apps should be used.

The following means of transportation are available in Bucharest:

  • By bus – Passengers have the following options to purchase surface transportation tickets (e.g., bus, tram, trolley bus):
    • by sending an SMS with the text “C” to 7458, available in any network or scanning the QR code .

      The ticket for one ride costs 0.62 EUR + VAT 19%. A confirmation SMS should be received within seconds and should be kept until getting off the bus. SMS tickets should be purchased before getting on the vehicle. Additional information can be found here;

    • by using the free mobile app 24pay (there is no need to have a transport card); to purchase tickets through the app, after installing it on your mobile device, you will be required to add your bank card details in the payment section;
    • by contactless bank card, directly at the validator (only when contactless card machines are installed on the specific vehicle);
    • from STB sale centers clearly identified in bus stations, where magnetic cards can be purchased – see here the list of STB sale centers and map. The magnetic card valid for two single bus rides costs 6 RON – about 1.2 EUR. It is advisable to have RON for purchasing the cards in cash. Otherwise, tickets can also be paid with a bank card (VISA or MASTERCARD) at any sale center. The magnetic card should be validated (taped against) the orange machines attached to the bus poles, once on the bus. For joint rides (e.g. 2 single rides for two travelers riding together), the button marked “2” should be pushed again before another validation. When tapped again, the machine should indicate for how many rides the card was validated (1 person, 2 persons etc.). When in doubt, always ask for the assistance of fellow travelers.
    • The SMS, the 24pay app wallet or the validated card should be presented upon request to official STB controllers (wearing blue vests clearly marked STB (front) and CONTROL (back), as well as controllers’ business IDs).
    • Regardless of how the tickets were purchased, they are valid for 90 minutes from getting the confirmation (SMS or 24pay) or validation (of cards on the bus). An unlimited number of rides is permitted within the 90-minute validation period. Any additional rides after the 90-minute validation requires another validation.
    • An updated bus schedule to and from the city center can be downloaded here.
    • Additional information and travel tips can be accessed here.
  • By metro – Passengers have the following options to purchase metro (underground) tickets:
    • by contactless bank card, directly at the validator found at the entrance gate by simply approaching it to the area marked with contactless sign located on the gate display; The charged fee is of 3 RON – about 0.6 EUR (including VAT), which is the cost of 1 metro ride;
    • from Metrorex pay-desks clearly identified in metro stations, where magnetic cards can be purchased – see more details here. The magnetic card valid for two single bus rides costs 6 RON – about 1.2 EUR (including VAT). It is advisable to have RON for purchasing the cards in cash. The magnetic card is validated (taped against) the area marked with the contactless sign located on the display at the entrance gate. When in doubt, always ask for the assistance of fellow travelers.
    • A metro routes calculator (including metro map), as well as the corresponding STB bus options can be accessed here.
  • Note: Multipurpose tickets available for both surface and metro transportation can be purchased as follows:
    • From STB sale centers (same as mentioned above) – Multipurpose magnetic cards for both bus and metro trips. The magnetic card valid for two single bus and / or metro rides costs 10 RON – about 2 EUR (including VAT), and multiple rides can be made for 120 minutes (2 hours) after validation on either the surface or underground vehicle)
    • From Metrorex pay-desks in metro stations – see here.
    • 24- and 72-hour tourist integrated metropolitan travel tickets can be purchased from Metrorex pay desks. The 24 and 72 hour-integrated metropolitan travel tickets allow users unlimited number of validations on any surface public means of transport from Bucharest-Ilfov region, on metro trains and on railway trains that are running on the route Gara de Nord – Henri Coandă Airport, with 15 minutes timing between validations. The 24-hour pass costs 25 RON (approximately 5 EUR) and the 24-hour pass costs 40 RON (8 EUR).
  • Ride-sharing services
    • Uber, Bolt, and similar ride-sharing services are also available using the corresponding mobile application. To meet your driver, follow the instructions specified in the application. Usually, the pick up spot in the Bucharest airport is located on the exit level below the train tracks. The assigned pickup points for Uber and similar services are clearly specified and their accurate location can be specifically found on the application’s map. If you can’t find your driver, contact them through the application.
  • By taxi
    • Licensed taxis without prior request, with fares between 2.59 lei/km and 3.5 lei/km (approx. 0.5-0.75 EUR/km) are available for passengers. These cars, clearly marked as “Taxi”, painted in yellow and showing the fare on their front doors, are situated in taxi stations around Bucharest.
    • Since the cost of taxi transportation is so low, a tip of 15-20% is customary, but the receipt will only contain the metered travel cost.
    • It is best to have Romanian currency to travel by taxi in Bucharest, as most taxis do not accept credit cards. Just like in any airport, the rates at currency exchange offices are not optimal. Bank ATMs in the arrivals terminal can also be used to withdraw Romanian currency. The equivalent of a maximum of 30 EUR/USD should get you into the town, where much better exchange rates are available at local banks and exchange offices (need to have ID).